Tag Archives: Pancakes

S’mores Cupcakes

So, I’ve always had this thing with marshmallows. When I was probably 7 or 8, my aunt bought me a GIANT bag of mini marshmallows from Sam’s Club. As in, 5 pounds of fluffy, airy, little marshmallows giant. I’m not sure if that was the start of it all, or my love of all things sugary just lead to an association with me and marshmallows, but it stuck. I mean, I’ve never proclaimed my love for marshmallows, but I’ve always been fond of them, and everyone seems to know it. I’m not sure how my sister-in-law became aware of my marshmallow association, but she believes that I loves them, and gave me three different kinds for my birthday a few years ago.

This Christmas, the same aunt that started it all gave me a bag of GIANT marshmallows. These were not your regular jumbo marshmallows. They are probably the size of two or three jumbo marshmallows. They’re huge! Like you’d only need 3 to make rice krispie treats huge. I needed to find something to do with these monsters.

I seem to have come across the idea a few times recently (although I forget everywhere I read it) of “frosting” cupcakes with marshmallows instead of buttercream. Of course I was drawn to this idea, and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do with my big guys.

 

S’mores Cupcakes
(adapted from bon appetit)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (~11 sheets)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 giant marshmallows, cut in half

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add vanilla. Add graham cracker mixture in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the graham cracker mixture. Spoon into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Bring the cream just to boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand one minute and then stir until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Spoon into a pastry bag.

Putting everything together: Push an apple corer about one inch into the top of each cupcake (or use a small knife to carve out a small hole), remove the cake. Pipe ganache into the holes, then swirl on top of the cupcakes. Smooth out the ganache with a knife. Before serving, preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the marshmallow halves on the baking sheet. Broil until the marshmallows are lightly charred, 1-2 minutes. Use a small metal spatula to place the marshmallow on top of each cupcake.

 

Seems like lots of white. Also, look at the size of those marshmallows!

Action shot of my mom chopping chocolate. I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate because it recently won a taste test on SeriousEats. Next time I’d use a milk chocolate to get the classic “s’mores with a Hershey bar” taste.

You will have some leftover batter. Don’t worry about getting out another muffin tin – we’ll do something with it later!

Ganaching.

Cored. This is also good for quality control.

Ganached.

S’mored.

Chocolatey marshmallowey goodness.

And what to do with the leftover batter? I’m glad my mom was here to come up with the idea:

Pancakes! Just add a splash of milk to the batter and viola! These might have been even better than the cupcakes!

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Filed under Baked Goodies, Recipes

Pumpkin Pancakes

I claim pumpkin to be my favorite food. Usually at this point in the year, I would be completely pumpkin-minded, trying to think of a way to fit the orange goop into every meal. Pumpkin oatmeal with pumpkin granola sprinkled on top for breakfast, chicken salad sandwich on pumpkin bread with pumpkin yogurt on the side for lunch, pumpkin & black bean enchiladas with pumpkin soup for dinner, washed down with a pumpkin beer, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It may turn me orange, but that would be a great day.

However, the Libby’s pumpkin shortage in the past year has really put a damper on my pumpkin loving ability. A whole year without the ability to enjoy or create recipes with pumpkin eventually made me forget about my favorite squash, and my go-to fruit addition became bananas in sweet applications, and butternut squash in all others. As soon as I saw other bloggers start to add pumpkin back to their oats, I looked everywhere for a couple cans of my own. And found nothing. Finally, on September 21 (it was a really important day), I found a stock of the precious cans at Trader Joe’s. There was just one problem…

Organic pumpkin. Blech. How is that a problem, you ask? I would guess that you’ve never tried organic pumpkin before if you are asking that question. For one thing, it’s brown. For another, it’s watery. Finally, its consistency is much more grainy/mealy than the smooth and creamy orange stuff from a Libby’s can. I have no idea why this vast difference exists; my only guess is that Libby’s has a superior method of processing and canning their pumpkin that is either proprietary information, or too expensive for smaller (organic) producers to use. Regardless, there is an obvious difference and in this instance, the cheaper, non-organic product is a much better buy.

Organic aside, bad pumpkin is better than no pumpkin, so I bought three cans that I hoped would hold me over until I could find some Libby’s. I made a batch of pumpkin oatmeal and quickly realized that if I wanted to enjoy these first tastes of pumpkin this season, I would need to use these cans in things that would disguise the texture.

Enter: Pumpkin Pancakes

I first made pancakes without a boxed mix during my senior year of college. The thought of plain pancakes makes my stomach turn a bit (I need strong flavor in the morning) so I added a mashed banana and some chocolate chips to the batter. They were a hit. And so much better than a box. And with pronounceable ingredients.

Last weekend we had a house guest and I wanted to make a nice breakfast. I had about half a can of organic pumpkin leftover from my oatmeal, and thought my pancakes would be a great vessel for getting rid of the less-than-ideal-textured pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 – 3/4 cup pumpkin
1 cup all purpose flour (or 1/2 cup AP flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (this is an estimate. I just poured it in until it looked/smelled spiced)

Beat egg with a whisk. Slowly add milk and melted butter. Mix in pumpkin. Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated – do not overmix! Cook on a non-stick griddle 1-2 minutes/side. Enjoy hot with plenty of real maple syrup.
Yield 10-15 pancakes, depending on what size you make them. They usually provide a delicious breakfast for 3-4 people.

(Pumpkin can be used as an egg-replacer in this recipe, which along with non-dairy milk and Earth Balance would veganize the recipe. I’ve made these with and without eggs, and haven’t really noticed a difference. I like to add them though – more protein!)

The batter – don’t worry if it’s lumpy. It’s better to have lumps than to have tough, overmixed pancakes.

These are pretty big – I got 11 out of the batch. Usually I get 15. They’re ready to flip when the bubbles on the surface pop.

It’s a feeling thing. You’ll get the hang of it. Don’t worry if you experience the first pancake phenomenon.

Hot & yummy pancakes! Don’t skimp on the maple syrup. Or Brett’s favorite – Biscoff spread.

It’s so simple, and with ingredients you already have. You’ll never want to waste your money on boxed pancake mix again!

This was actually the second batch I made – this one just to freeze for future use. Just take them out of the freezer on a busy morning and pop them in the toaster. You’ll also never buy frozen waffles/pancakes again!

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Filed under Breakfast, Recipes, Vegetarian